Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Feb. 28, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, recently participated in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, the 120th consecutive year for the survey. The area where officer Teders participated in the count focused on the Little and Big Darby creek corridors. Officer Teders used his local knowledge to help the birders explore new state-owned areas, including a state park, wildlife production areas, and scenic river properties. Officer Teders also used his knowledge of waterfowl hunting to guide volunteers to areas of duck concentrations. The volunteers were quick to share bird identification tips and tricks. Officer Teders spoke to the group about the role wildlife officers fill within the conservation community. These individuals now have the familiarity with wildlife officers and knowledge to help report violations. The volunteers recorded 60 different species within the count boundaries, including four that were newly documented. Information collected by these volunteers over the past century is important for ornithologists and conservation biologists to measure how bird species fare over time.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During the 2019 youth deer gun season, state wildlife officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, observed a youth hunter sitting alone. Officer Kennedy contacted the hunter and while doing so, located the adult who was supposed to be accompanying the youth. The adult hunter was in possession of a crossbow and admitted he was hunting deer. During the youth gun season, adults must accompany all youth hunters and are not eligible to hunt at the same time. The adult hunter also had a statewide warrant for his arrest. Officer Kennedy placed the hunter in custody and issued him a citation for hunting deer while accompanying a youth hunter during the youth deer gun season. Officer Kennedy was assisted by the Findlay Police Department during the investigation. The hunter pleaded guilty and received a $145 fine and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
In August 2019, the Lake Erie Law Enforcement Unit was on patrol in Ashtabula County checking walleye anglers. A boat was observed returning from Lake Erie at the Lakeshore Park ramp in the morning. Later that day, the boat launched again with the same two anglers on board. The boat returned from the second trip on the lake around 7 p.m. Lake Erie investigators Jason Hadsell and Matt Fisher contacted the anglers to check their catch. Upon inspection, they discovered 10 walleyes in the boat. Investigator Hadsell questioned the anglers about their first trip earlier that day and discovered they had also caught a limit in the morning. The walleyes were seized as evidence and a summons was issued to each angler for five walleyes over the daily bag limit. Both were found guilty in court and paid $250 in restitution and $95 in fines and court costs. They also received a one-year fishing license revocation.
While working waterfowl enforcement, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, observed a group of individuals hunting ducks in a marsh. Officer Brown contacted the men and checked their licenses. One individual was hunting waterfowl without a valid Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp and was charged with the offense. The man appeared in Wayne County Municipal Court, was convicted, and paid $140 in fines and costs.
During the deer gun season, state wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, discovered information about an illegally harvested deer. When officer Warren learned of the illegal harvest, he seized the antlered deer. After the deer was processed, officer Warren donated the venison to the Ashtabula County Food Bank. A staff member at the facility graciously thanked him for the donation.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In January, state wildlife officer Chris Dodge, assigned to Hocking County, received information through the Turn-In-a-Poacher program at 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437) that a person shot a deer with a shotgun outside of the deer gun season. According to the report, the caller heard two gunshots and then stepped outside, where the individual observed a dead deer in the woods and a person nearby. Officer Dodge and state wildlife officer Jared Abele responded and were able to identify a suspect. Further investigation revealed the suspect shot the deer with a shotgun during the archery season. The suspect had neither a hunting license nor a deer permit. The suspect was issued summonses for taking a deer with an unlawful implement, hunting without a license, and hunting without a deer permit. The deer was seized as evidence and donated to a food pantry after it was processed. The shotgun was seized as evidence and is pending forfeiture. The case is pending in Hocking County Municipal Court.